Bands on a Budget in Asbury Park has always done a great job of supporting the local creative community, using their space to host a variety of art and music events.

This upcoming First Saturday in Asbury Park will be no exception and is the final art show at the Mattison Avenue location of Bands on a Budget. They will soon be moving to new digs on Lake Avenue, so please come out and celebrate! 

The showcase will feature artwork by Erik Schmidt and Patrick Dean, both of Neptune Tattooville. Also accompanying the art of these two gentlemen will be the musical offerings of WE ARE THANKS.

I caught up with Erik Schmidt earlier this week to find out more about his artistic endeavors, as well as what will be featured at the show.

ZAPPO:  When did you first start drawing and creating?

SCHMIDT: I (remember) drawing when I started having my first memories. Every kid likes to draw.  As I got older I realized I enjoyed the process of drawing and being imaginative on paper.  I was pretty good at it, so my friends would ask me to draw them pictures.

ZAPPO:  Was there a time when you became aware or declared that you were an artist?

SCHMIDT: I would say high school, but I was very lazy about it.  I didn’t try to get any better or learn new techniques.  I really frustrated my teachers.


ZAPPO:  What formal training in the field of art have you had?

SCHMIDT: I was an art major in college, and received a bachelors degree. But still I didn’t put forth much effort.  I breezed through my classes as quickly as I could, I retained little of the information given to me. I would appreciate my art history classes much more now.

ZAPPO:  Name some favorite mediums you like to create in?

SCHMIDT: I mostly work with watercolor now that I tattoo. I also like charcoal, and recently found an interest in making mosaics.

ZAPPO:  How did you get involved in tattooing?

SCHMIDT: I started getting tattooed in my early twenties and was hooked.  I would try to draw my own designs, but never thought I would get the opportunity to apprentice.  I was intimidated by the tattoo shop scene. Finally, I became friends with Patrick and Dave at Neptune Tattoo, and I helped them out around the shop.  A while later, they offered me an apprenticeship if I could dedicate myself all the way.  I couldn’t believe it! Proper training by seasoned, experienced tattooers in the industry is priceless, and necessary.

ZAPPO:  What artists do you find personally inspiring?

SCHMIDT: Well, most recently would be John James Audubon.  I always liked Renoir. Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer did my favorite oceanscapes.


ZAPPO:  You also surf. Do you find any connection between your surfing and your art?

SCHMIDT: I feel like surfing was a spiritual discovery for me about five years ago, and it has tied my whole lifestyle together. Surfing has definitely been reflected in some of my art.  I grew up in Vermont and lived there most of my life, but a connection with the ocean was what I was looking for. It’s hard to explain. Also beach combing has played a role in my more recent art.  Sea glass, sharks teeth, tiles, and pottery are found in my mosaics.

ZAPPO:  Tell us a bit about the art show you have coming up this Saturday at Bands on a Budget.

SCHMIDT: This will be my first art showing ever!  I am nervous and excited. There will be some of my early apprenticeship tattoo flash and paintings from six years ago, all the way to my current work.  Lots of bird paintings.  Mosaics.  Primarily watercolors.  I asked Patrick Dean to show some of his body surfing hand planes.  They are amazing wooden creations!

ZAPPO:  Any last words of wisdom or shout outs?

SCHMIDT: Wisdom? Work hard at what you love, stay humble, and  never stop learning.  Shout outs to my bosses, Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker at Neptune Tattoo. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tattoo and continue to make art for a living!

Shawn Zappo is a local surfer and skater who rules the stoves at Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar. He’s also a musician and will be writing about his surf and skate related experiences as well as reviews on bands and whatever the hell else he feels like writing about. 


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